In a time when cruise lines are always trying to one-up each other, one thing remains strong — river cruising. While you may not see a high-endurance rope course, buff gyms, surfing simulators or a jumbo water park, you will find access to quaint ports only accessible by small ships. River cruising may not dominate the passenger counts but the lines do hold a title for the frequency of new builds.
According to the Cruise Lines International Association, river cruising has see a 10 percent growth over the past five years. Viking River Cruises is launching 24 ships between 2012-2014. The most talked about new launches are their Viking Longships.
“River cruises are not for everyone. One a cost-per-day basis they are commonly much more expensive than a large ocean cruise ship and it would be difficult to compare experiences,” said Chris Owen from ChrisCruises.net.
AmaWaterways recently announced that actress Sharon Stone of as the godmother of their coming 106-passenger AmaVidam being launched March 22 in Portugal.
North American small ship company American Cruise Lines recently launched their 150-guest Queen of the Mississippi to operate on the Mississippi River and tributaries. CEO Charlie Robertson told us there has been an overwhelming response with bookings. American Cruise Lines had record breaking bookings this past January. American Cruise Lines has one more paddlewheeler on the way.
Ships and itineraries are constantly being released and reinvented, and that keeps passengers interested.
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